Psychiatrist Dr. Simon Ruffell on the Science and Philosophy of Ayahuasca | #08
Psychedelic retreat centers have become big business, providing a way for curious minds to engage in psychedelic treatments in areas where they are legal. One perfect example are retreat centers located throughout South America where participants gather to drink the strange cocktail of tryptamines and harmalines in a brew called “ayahuasca”. But are these treatments effective?
Dr. Simon Ruffell is a psychiatrist that has specialized his research on understanding exactly what goes on in these ayahuasca ceremonies and how they impact the physical and mental health of participants. To do so, Dr. Ruffell traveled to Peru to spend time in the jungle participating in ayahuasca ceremonies, collecting data from participants and even following up with participants long after a ceremony to understand just what might be going on.
In this episode of Isn’t Life Curious? we dive into this strange world of ayahuasca to unpack both the science and philosophy surrounding this psychedelic brew as we continue our mini-series, Serious About Psychedelics.
To learn more about Dr. Ruffell’s work with Ayahuasca, check out The Ayahuasca Foundation at https://www.ayahuascafoundation.org/research/the-team
Stay curious and take it easy!
Psilera Bioscience Wants to Revolutionize Mental Health with Psychedelics | #04
In this episode of Isn't Life Curious? we continue our exploration of psychedelics that we began with Rick Doblin PhD in episode 2. This time we sit down with two natural products researchers that hope to revolutionize mental health treatment with nature's mind manifesting molecules - psychedelics. They are CEO, Chris Witowski PhD and CSO, Jacqueline Salm PhD, of Psilera Bioscience.
In our conversation we talk about Psilera's work developing new methods of delivering psychedelics to patients as well as the development of new psychedelics that have not yet been explored. We discuss the ways in which psychedelics may impact mental health treatment in the near future, how common psychedelics affect the body and brain, and what we can expect from the future of psychedelic research. We also dive a bit into the philosophical as we explore the nature of consciousness, what it means to be a "psychedelic" and much more!
You can learn more about Psilera Bioscience at www.psilera.com
Stay curious, and take it easy!
Is life special? Or is it just a happy accident that we are here?
Neil Manson, PhD is a philosopher and professor of philosophy at the University of Mississippi where he specializes in tackling these very questions. An expert on philosophy of science and philosophy of religion, Dr. Manson joins us as we dive down a metaphysical wormhole to explore the ways humans have tried to wrestle with our place in the universe. If there is a multiverse, what does that mean for our traditional concepts of God? If we live in a simulation, then what ethical obligations do I have to you or anyone else?
Take a deep breath and let's have an existential crisis together on this episode of Isn't Life Curious?!
Check out Dr. Manson's books "God and Design" here, and "This is Philosophy of Religion" here.
Enjoy! Stay curious, and take it easy!